Washington Nationals’ lefty Roenis Elías, who started the night with a .346/.443/.538 line against versus left-handed hitters this season, gave up a leadoff home run by left-handed hitter Jeff McNeil that made it 5-2 New York in the top of the eighth, and he returned in the top of the ninth, with the score 5-4 after Juan Soto hit a two-run blast in the bottom of the eighth, and surrendered another leadoff blast, by another left-hand hitter, Brandon Nimmo, whose solo shot made it 6-4 Mets.
Joe Panik (you guessed it, a left-handed hitter) singled off Elías before the southpaw was lifted in favor of Daniel Hudson, who got a foul pop that Matt Adams dropped, and then walked Todd Frazier, before getting one out then what should have been an inning-ending double play on a grounder to short by Tomas Nido, but... Trea Turner fielded the one-out grounder and threw to first, apparently forgetting that there was only one down when he could have had a 6-4-3.
McNeil took advantage of the brain cramp by Turner, driving in two with a single to left in the next at bat, 8-4, and a two-run home run by Pete Alonso made it worse, 10-4 after eight and a half.
Apparently the Nationals take that “Stay in the Fight” stuff seriously though, because they came out in the bottom of the ninth and got a leadoff single by Victor Robles, who scored on a one-out double by Turner, 10-5.
Turner took third on a single by Asdrúbal Cabrera, and scored on an RBI single by Anthony Rendon, 10-6, so the Mets went to the pen, bringing Luis Avilán on for Paul Sewald, but a base-loading single by Juan Soto brought the tying run to the plate, and forced the Mets to go to Edwin Díaz vs Ryan Zimmerman, who represented the tying run...
Zimmerman doubled to right on a 98 MPH 0-1 fastball, driving in two, 10-8.
Kurt Suzuki stepped in next, 1 for 4 on the night at that point, got to 3-1, went to a full count, and fouled off 99 and 100 MPH 3-2 fastballs before he connecting with a 100 MPH heater from Díaz, sending it out to left field and into the seats for a walk-off, three-run homer that capped off an improbable comeback, 11-10 Nationals.
Asked about the way they battled until the end by MASN’s Alex Chappell, Suzuki said after the win that they grinded their way through the ninth.
“Grinding, just grinding away,” he explained. “The game is never over until it’s over, we just try to put good at bats together, and this happens.”
“It’s what you strive for every day,” Suzuki added of the walk-off winner. “You want to help the team out any way you can. I don’t know, it’s a pretty cool moment right now.”
And his thoughts after he hit the walk-off winner?
“It’s enjoy this one and come back tomorrow and do it all again.”
“Boom,” Davey Martinez said, as the manager sat down for his post-game press conference.
“What do you want me to say, ‘Boom!’”
“A win is a win is a win is a win,” he added, acknowledging that it wasn’t a pretty one.
“The boys fought. What can you say about these guys, honestly. All year long they’ve been down, down, down, and they come right back, and it’s a testament — it’s funny because I was sitting there with Cabrera by the batting thing, and he’s looking at me, he goes, ‘Hey, what’s wrong with you? You’re just kind of... ’ And I kind of, I said, ‘Hey, man, stay positive.’ I said, ‘In this game, the minute you get negative that’s when things start falling off the cliff,’ and we started coming back and he’s looking at me laughing, he goes up there and gets a base hit, and then at the end of the game he goes, ‘You are unbelievable,’ and I said, ‘Hey, positive things, man. Think positive. That’s all I can tell you.’
“If you let this game go like this [waves arm up and down], just stay right here [makes straight line with his arm], we’ll be fine.”
Did he see it coming together as things built in the ninth?
“Our at bats were good,” Martinez said. “Soto’s at bat against the lefty was — he hung in there, you know, and he was good, and Zim, Zim coming off the bench off of Díaz, and then ‘Zuk, you know, what can I can say about Zuk, he’s been one of our guys all year, and comes up in big ways.”
It was a big win, and a huge comeback, the largest deficit overcome to win in the ninth inning or later in team history (2005-present), according to the Nats’ post-game notes.
“The boys are still in there jacked up,” Martinez said, pointing to the clubhouse, “and I had to remind them we have a day game tomorrow, ‘Go home!’ But it’s awesome.”